Cass County commissioners pass resolution regarding state revenue sharing payments
CASSOPOLIS — The Cass County Board of Commissioners is asking the state to pay the county money it is owed.
Thursday evening, commissioners passed a resolution requesting the state of Michigan fulfill its statutory obligation with regard to state revenue sharing payments, believing that Cass County is owed hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments.
According to the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, Michigan’s unrestricted state revenue sharing programs provide local municipalities funding rather than allowing for more local-option taxes. These programs supplement locally raised revenues to help to fund local government services that residents rely on.
In 2004, an agreement was made between the state and counties that eliminated county revenue sharing payments for a period of time during which counties were allowed to pay themselves an equivalent amount to their statutory revenue sharing payments. Each year, the Michigan Department of Treasury authorized each county an inflationary increase over the base amount established in 2004. This agreement saved the State of Michigan from allocating general fund dollars by funding the County Revenue Sharing Reserve Fund through a property tax collection shift. However, once a county exhausted its reserve fund, it could reenter the state revenue sharing system. The state was required to allocate the county their full revenue sharing amount by statute when they reentered the system.
However, according to Thursday’s resolution, counties that reentered the state revenue sharing system before 2014 endured cuts to their base revenue sharing payments that were never restored, while counties that reentered the system after 2014 did not take the same cuts to their base revenue sharing payments.
The Michigan Association of Counties has identified 61 counties that endured cuts to their base revenue sharing payments, which together accounts for a cumulative shortfall in revenue sharing payments to the counties of $117,617,804. According to the resolution passed Thursday, Cass County is owed $717,466 of that total as it reentered the state revenue sharing system in 2011.
“The state of Michigan may question the necessity of making these payments to the counties now in light of the counties slated to receive COVID-19 funding from the American Rescue Plan,” said Commissioner Roseann Marchetti, who read the resolution. “However, those funds are tied to a number of restrictions on how the money can be used. County revenue sharing payments is unrestricted and can be used as necessary.”
The resolution passed unanimously.
Following Thursday’s vote, copies of the resolution will be sent to Reps Steve Carra and Brad Paquette, Sen. Kim LaSata, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, the Michigan Association of Counties, and each county in the state.
- Commissioners approved two agreements with local municipalities and the Cass County Sheriff’s Office for police coverage. The first agreement for Marcellus Township will last until Dec. 31. The second, for Howard Township, will run through March 31, 2022.
- June Blackwell was appointed to the Jury Commission for a six-year term ending March 30, 2027.
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